Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lessons from the Living Torah

Reform Judaism considers Torah a relic of the past. Secular thinking too thinks it outmoded. Orthodox Judaism, in contrast, regards Torah as a living connection with Our Creator, always providing insight and instruction how to live our daily lives. The opening verse of this week's Torah portion (Vayeitzei) is an example.

The verse reads, "When you go out to war over your enemies, G-d will give you them in your hands ...." (Deut. 21, 10).

First note, if Israel has avowed enemies, she would do well to "go out" and fight them. That 's first of all.

Once Jews go out to fight, G-d "will give" the enemy to the Jews. Note the verse does not say, "... and you will win," but rather, the enemy will be handed over. The lesson here is the victorious Jew has no right to brag and say, "It was my potential and my might that vanquished the enemy." The victory comes as a gift from G-d, as in, "He will give you," - not as a result of Jewish power.

That's a second lesson. Here's a third important lesson.

Suppose your best friend offers you a gift. Then you take his gift and, in turn, as your best friend watches, you give it as a present to his worst enemy.

What kind of perverted mind could do such a thing, you ask.

Israeli organs of government, both secular and bribed religious ones, have been for decades behaving this way. Jews went out to fight their foes, G-d gave them miraculous victories, and these Jews turn around and want to return parts of these lands to G-d's enemies.

Who are G-d's enemies? The foes of Israel, because G-d's beloved people are the Jews. Jew haters are G-d's enemies.

These are 3 among many lessons this one verse alone can teach us - today!

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